Inter will head to Bulgaria in the first knockout round of the Europa League, after drawing PFC Ludogorets Razgrad on Monday. The first leg is scheduled for Thursday 20 February, with the second leg on 27 February.
Ludogorets are a relatively new force in Bulgarian football. They absorbed the previous “Ludogorets” team, which was riddled with debt and trouble and history in 2001. Since they were taken over by a Bulgarian billionaire in 2011, they’ve gone on a remarkable run — winning a domestic treble in their first year in the top flight, and becoming only the second Bulgarian club in history to reach the group stage of the Champions League. They are currently in the midst of a championship run that has seen them win five-straight league titles.
It will be a tricky tie, particularly away from home. Bulgaria in February sounds tough, as does the teeny 10,000 seater stadium, which will be frothing at the mouth to secure a big-name European scalp.